It’s been a tough week for code schools across the nation. First, San Francisco based Dev Bootcamp announced it will close by the end of the year, and yesterday saw the announcement from The Iron Yard that it would be closing all campuses after the summer cohort.
I was extremely saddened by the news. The Iron Yard was where I had my first exposure to the tech community in the Tampa Bay area outside of work. Moving ahead of my family into a new city, it was a sometimes daunting task to make new friends and network. The folks at The Iron Yard, a mix of staff, students, and visitors were extremely friendly and helpful. The Iron Yard Tampa Bay was my first and only choice for hosting a .NET Meetup as the sense community and willing to work with user groups was quite apparent.
So why then, the closure?
The announcement on The Iron Yard site doesn’t say too much, but I can only assume it was a financial decision.
Does the Code School Business Model Work?
On my LinkedIn network today, a prominent leader in the technology community posed the question. My first instinct is yes, of course it works! I’ve met, spoken with, and heard success stories coming directly from students and alumni of The Iron Yard and similar programs across the US. Others on the thread commented that there wasn’t sufficient data to conclude that it doesn’t. But, I want to know what you think. Does the model work? What’s the take-away here?
As one of the instructors mentioned, the Tampa Bay campus was killing it! And I’m sure the loss will be felt in the community. Is community support the key to a successful code school? There seems to be sufficient need, at least in the Tampa Bay area.
Is there an opportunity here?
Does that mean there is an opportunity to fill the void left by the closing of The Iron Yard campus? We at The 6 Figure Developer have toyed with the idea of offering more teaching, training, and consulting. I, and others, enjoy teaching and mentoring. I suspect many of the staff and instructors at The Iron Yard may be contemplating ways to continue to offer training and teaching within the community.
What say you, Tampa Bay? What say you, Iron Yard and Dev Bootcamp students, staff, and alumni across the country? Is there a need? Does the model work? How might the void best be filled?
A Microsoft MVP, John has been a professional developer since 1999. He has focused primarily on web technologies and has experience with everything from PHP to C# to ReactJS to SignalR. Clean code and professionalism are particularly important to him, as well as mentoring and teaching others what he has learned along the way.